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All of my work, like that of any artist is within the context of its creation and it's exhibition - therefore when looking at any excerpts online please view them with regard to my description of their context. If you view a work like 'Un Tempo Una Volta', without imagining that it is shown 6 meters by 3 meters at an angle of 45 degrees, 10 feet above the audiences head whilst they lay beneath, staring up as Venetians do within their city, then you are missing the point - unless you imagine that staging.

 
This is an age of image making. Most contemporary artist/interventionists are in direct lineage from Duchamp, Magritte and Warhol. Duchamp (my paraphrasing): "I reject patronage determining what is to be counted as art, so from now on I the artist will choose what art is and what it means", Magritte: "I openly question the idea of representation especially in the delineation of the 'real'," Ceci n'est pas une pipe. Warhol: 'Now we should look at what's around us with a gaze that was previously reserved for 'art'"... and the contemporary acts of Banksy: "let us intervene in the dep[iction of the 'real' by direct action in the marketplace which currently symbolises human exchange and human values". Though a simplistic reading, all of these artists direct statements and the work they made supported their articulation of what was important for them in the making and presenting of work at the time of that understanding. Of course things have moved on apace since then with the intervention of the 'digital' and how it impacts on the creation, exhibition and meaning of what art is and will become.

THE SUM OF HANDS

In the middle of all of this Walter Benjamin's 1936 essay - the Object of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction - updated in 1987 by John Wyver's programme for La Sept: The Object of Art in the Age of Electronic Reproduction asked what is the nature of art, and whether the 'aura' of the artwork can still be present in its representation. Place in to all of this the analysis of the Situationists and the notion of the Society of the Spectacle and the fetishisation of commodity and we have a heady, onrushing mix with art placed suitably (always) to question consumption in all of its forms. Damien Hirst unavoidably has had to move to this question with his 'skull', where the value is the issue of the art, where death is a simple counterpoint, where the 'aura' of the work is absent from the beginning.

PRISONERS

In amongst all of this as an artist, an image maker, initially with single screen works and latterly with sculptural investigations into the virtual and the real, I find myself perhaps at odds with the evolutionary thrust of art. I feel ok about that because every current has to have its eddies and sub-currents without which it cannot exist - alos the current needs the substructure of the eddies to manifest it self in a rehearsable form. Also I like to tell myself that what my intuition tells me to investigate is in fact more important than what is uppermost in the mind of the contemporary zeitgeist - because I like every artist before or after me - am interested in something that underpins every zeitgeist which itself is continuously transforming yet remaining the same.

PORTRAITS OF THE SOMERSET CARNIVALS

To that end I am interested in people entering a space (real or imaginary) and perceiving a work and what may happen to them in the moments after its first apprehension. I say the moments following because those first moments are manipulable by any artist who know their practice - and it is in that description that lies the answer to my pursuit. As an artist I want to go beyond that pursuit toward the idea of the sublime (which is of course beyond any evolutionary description of things - Dawkins take note), so that the work I make and we as artists make, matters and is significant in some way. What that significance is, is your, the audience's, call. The 'only game in tow'n is self-knowledge; Art at its best is an enabler of understanding of the world. As Jung says (my paraphrase): "We are here to make that subtle material, conscious awareness reverberate - because Significance/Essence/the existential state/God (whatever is your ultimate depiction of your existence), requires conscious witnesses".

IN RE ANSEL ADAMS

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My work has been purchased by the ARNOLFINI Bristol

and the MUSEUM OF MODERN ART Berlin.

Complete collections of my artwork are available or will soon be found at

The British Artists Film and Video Study Collection, LONDON

Video Les Beaux Jours, STRASBOURG

The Rewind Project, DUNDEE

The Lux Centre, LONDON

AICE, InVideo, MILAN

Contact me at: flaxton@btinternet.com or click e-mail me

E-Mail: flaxton@btinternet.com e-mail me Telephone +44 (0)1749 890 610 Fax +44 (0)1749 890 018 Mobile +44 (0)7976 370 984

Cinematography

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Video Art